Antioch Devotionals- March 16-20

MONDAY, MARCH 16TH Matthew 7:24
Wisdom in Obedience by Paula McKee
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24
Did you wear your new red, hand-knitted poncho to school on a 97 degree day just because your Great Aunt Ailsey sent it to you in the mail? I did...when I was six!  I learned to listen to the wisdom of my mother after sweating in that poncho all day in an un-airconditioned room of wriggling first graders. I’m that stubborn. As an adult, I went to the driving range to hit golf balls with my husband. I took on the same rebellious attitude. He tried to give me instruction, but I knew better. The ball was sitting still!. How hard could it be? After experiencing EPIC failure, I LISTENED to him and experienced a modicum of success and far less frustration. What is your red poncho? We all have one.
Some may resent or even defy leaders as they advise us to avoid large gatherings. We hate missing our beloved sporting events and church meetings while the Corona virus threatens the nation. However, we benefit from listening to leaders. And as we go through stressful times, we have the best guidebook of all. LISTEN to the Word of God as He tells us exactly how to handle everything we face. In John 14:27, Jesus tells us that he left us his peace and tells us not to be afraid. Listen to His Word, build your house upon that rock, and all will be well.  
Dear Heavenly Father, the wisdom that I find in your holy word calms me. Help me to be obedient when I struggle with following my own wisdom. I pray for those who don’t know Jesus as Savior. Guide me in sharing my faith so that the lost can know your peace, too. These things I pray in Jesus’s holy name. Amen
TUESDAY, MARCH 17TH Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
By Cindy Beckman
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
A storm has been brewing in my family since last summer.  Dad’s incurable, but treatable, diagnosis began to spin downward into months of infections. After Thanksgiving we put him into rehab where the downward spiral continued.  Then Mom fell, busting her elbow and knee, and she joined him at rehab.  Finally this past week, the doctors said they had done all they could and we put Dad into hospice care back at the rehab.  Then rehab went on lockdown because of this coronavirus.  I am thankful that God is still in control.  He hasn’t calmed the storm but He has calmed us. I have had to continually claim Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understand, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Whatever storm you are facing this week?  God’s got this!
Prayer: Lord, help your children to remember to pray. Help them to trust that You are in control, no matter how big the storm, no matter how high the waves get.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18TH Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
Where Do We Go From Here? by Chris Blacksmith
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the God of peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” Philippians 4:4-7

J.B. Coats, an early 1900’s music teacher/songwriter, asked a gentleman on his death bed if he knew where he would spend eternity. Mr. Keyes, who had been J.B.’s neighbor simply replied, “Where could I go but to the Lord?” Inspired by that question Mr. Coats penned the following words, “Where could I go? Oh where could I go? Seeking a refuge for my soul. Needing a friend to save me in the end where could I go but to the Lord?” In the midst of our current situation Paul reminds us that we’re called to rejoice always, and remain at peace. This is only possible when we follow his instruction to take our petitions and requests to the Lord.  Daniel went to the Lord in a lion’s den, three Jewish boys went to the Lord in a furnace, the disciples went to the Lord during a storm and we too can go to the Lord in our current situation. So where do we go from here? Where could we go but to
HELP by Paulette Herring

Storms unexpected and strong come suddenly without warning and nobody saw it coming.  What do we do?  We panic, are fearful and run to the store and clear all the shelves.
We need to turn to Jesus.  He can calm the storm or hold us tight and safe while the storm rages on.  Remember the disciples in the boat, Jesus was sleeping and they woke Jesus up to save them from the storm!  He calmed the wind and the waves to the amazement and delight of the disciples.
We can trust the Lord for anything and everything.  He is all powerful!
We are facing a great unknown, He will never fail us and He won't start now.  We can trust Him to make our faith stronger!  Just as the disciples were fearful and woke Jesus to save them, we can call upon our Lord Jesus for help during this world wide crisis.
We need to pray for the Lord to be with us and help our mayors, governors, congress, and President to deal with this Pandemic that only He can help us solve.
By Toya Aultman
My Precious Child,
Do not fear, I am with you; do not be dismayed, I am your God.
I will give you strength and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
When you are afraid, put your trust in me.
Do not be anxious about anything, (not even COVID-19) but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to me.
And my peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, I will be with you wherever you go.
I go before you and will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
And know with all of your heart that in all things I work for the good of those who love me, who have been called according to my purpose.
Most Gracious Father,
Thank you for your promises found throughout your Word. Help me in these trying days to keep my eyes fixed on YOU! Knowing you are with me every step of the way!
Love, Your Child
(Bible verses: Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 56:3, Philippians 4:6-7, Joshua 1:9,
Deuteronomy 31:8, Romans 8:28)